John Searle - Beyond Dualism

Descartes' philosophical articulation and defense of psycho-physical dualism (the idea that the mind has an existence different and independent from the physical body), and the idea that the mind cannot be reduced to simple physical processes, have carried immense weight on the philosophy of mind for the past four centuries. It has taken immense amounts of work and amassing of evidence to be able to convincingly argue that dualism is most likely a false (and not merely questionable) theory. We now know, for instance, that Descartes was simply mistaken when he argued that the mind is indivisible. We have the unfortunate case of epileptic patients in the 70's to thank for that nugget of wisdom :(

Still, for its fundamental mistakes, dualism may yet be right about its skepticism of reductionism, and conversely, for all its merits, physicalism (or materialism) may still be wrong about its explanatory power, or so argues anti-dualist philosopher John Searle in this delightful and funny lecture.


If you are interested in these topics, check out the Brainspotting tag to have your mind blown some more.
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